At the end of the Spring Half Term, for this third issue of the newsletter, ESW Associate & Strategic Leader of Teaching & Research Schools (Education South West), Roger Pope CBE highlights the announcement of the new 87 Teaching School Hubs, with networking underway here in the South West.
Along with the latest and forthcoming offers from our partner Teaching School Alliances; a year on, you can also read an update on the DfE RSHE Ready Primary and the Primary P.E. and Sport Premium programmes - and more besides.
If you would like to be added to the mailing list, email TSSW Project Co-Ordinator, Jude Owens.
We are pleased to support the work of our partner, the West Country Computing Hub. If you have yet to participate in any of their events, see here now an introduction and links.
Here at the West Country Computing Hub, we believe that Computing, taught by confident and knowledgeable teachers, enables young learners to achieve their full potential in a digital world.
Our primary purpose is to ensure that teachers of all Key Stages are equipped with the confidence and expertise to do exactly that, with Government-funded resources, professional development and teacher communities.
Primary Teachers – why not get in touch and let us help you plan and deliver an outstanding curriculum?
Our CPD courses are £35 per day; however, there is a £220 bursary available for one teacher per school in an academic year. Our Primary Programming and Algorithms course is a brilliant introductory course for teachers to discover engaging and effective ways to help children use computational thinking.
Secondary Teachers – all courses that are part of the Computer Science Accelerator (CSA) programme are free to attend, with a bursary of up to £1,800 on completion.
The CSA programme is a flexible professional development programme designed to give teachers the subject knowledge and confidence to teach Computer Science. The programme is suitable for current or aspiring teachers, and offers support for teachers from all backgrounds.
It is worth noting that great Computing teachers come from across the curriculum, most commonly Business Studies, Mathematics and Design Technology!
Whilst delivery is remote, there are numerous different dates and times to choose from, for each course title.
If you work in a MAT and there is enough interest, we could look at supporting a group of teachers on an invitation-only basis at a time and date convenient to you. Developing a bespoke support to meet the specific needs of your Trust, aligned to your particular improvement priorities.
Computing is the newest curriculum subject in primary and secondary education and we can offer you the support needed to make it thrive and help with any questions about your curriculum, remote teaching or our available CPD.
DfE Primary P.E. and Sport Premium Programme is well-timed for Pupils' Well-Being during Covid Lockdown
With children and young people home learning during the on-going Covid lockdown, the Department for Education's Primary P.E. and Sport Premium programme is particularly well-timed.
Last October more than 50 leaders from 30 schools met together virtually for the project launch session.
Engagement in this first session was high, with schools glad to be part of the project, given physical activity and well-being are all the more important during these difficult times. Mentor sessions are now underway and are scheduled to be completed within the DFE timeline of March 2021.
Active Devon have provided a wealth of resources to support Mentors and planning is underway to sustain the programme in Plymouth, Devon and Torbay beyond March through established P.E. networks. It is hoped that a number of activities and mentoring can be offered to other schools in the region, with a number on the reserve list and new schools registering their interest.
Other activities include Swim England Accreditation where 60 places have been assigned to teachers and support staff within the schools in the local area/ project schools. This is a blended approach to ‘Teacher of Swimming’ accreditation and all participants have now started the online learning modules. It is anticipated that face-to-face sessions to complete accreditation will take place in the summer.
In accordance with current Covid social distancing guidance, it was decided for the planned Less Active/ Disadvantaged Pupil Events that it was clearly impossible to run these two group events of up to 100 before the project end date in March. However, in partnership with Active Devon, a P.E. specialist has been deployed in each of the 30 schools for one day of professional development.
This will involve working with a teacher, Teaching Assistant and 10 less active/ disadvantaged pupils from a school bubble. The aims of this session are to place the pupils at the heart of improvements in physical activity and well-being and to develop staff participation and confidence and the session will be disseminated to all stakeholders across the schools from the attending staff, with the support of the allocated Mentor. Provision for pupils in school should be strengthened, and sports premium planning improved.
The DFE are currently in consultation to move these events to the summer and schools will be contacted with more information.
It is rewarding to commend schools for the hard work and commitment of their staff in supporting pupils' well-being and physical activity.
Report by Deputy Director of PTSA, Donna Briggs
The Impact on Learning and Well-Being during the Lockdown - ImpactEd publish longitudinal study findings
ImpactEd have published today the results of their seven month national research project - the largest ever of its kind in the UK - looking at the impact of the pandemic on pupils’ well-being and learning.
"Lockdown Lessons" is based on the work undertaken by teachers and leaders in ImpactEd partner schools to support their pupils throughout 2020. The report catalogues the impact of lockdowns, remote learning and school re-openings on pupil learning and well-being, and features responses from over 62,000 pupils aged 6 to 18 years over a seven-month period from May to November 2020.
Some of the key findings from the report include:
1. Challenges with remote learning were felt much more strongly by pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, incorporating a range of issues beyond access to devices. For example, only 45% of Pupil Premium pupils agreed that they understood their school work whilst learning remotely, compared to 57% of non-disadvantaged pupils.
2. Overall, pupil well-being was more stable than might have been expected, particularly during the first period of remote teaching. However, there was a significant gender divide. Girls were more anxious about returning to school than boys, and reported higher anxiety throughout the period by an average of more than 10%.
3. Exam year groups (particularly Years 10 and 11) faced the most significant challenges in terms of learning motivation, both before and after the summer break. One in four pupils at Key Stage 4 said they could not get help from their family if they had questions about their work.
A non-profit organisation, ImpactEd supports schools and education organisations to evaluate their impact, learn from it, and prioritise what is working best to improve outcomes for young people.
Connecting STEM Teachers (CST) Programme Network Meeting
Tuesday 16 March 2021 | 1600 – 1700
OR Wednesday 17 March 2021 | 1240 – 1340
The Royal Academy of Engineering are inviting teachers of STEM subjects to an online meeting of CPD, networking and sharing of good practice.
Engineering in a pandemic focuses on the contribution engineering can make to saving lives in the face of a global pandemic and aims to inspire pupils to consider engineering as a career, by bringing their learning to life through thematic problems and challenges.
Colyton Grammar School are hosting two dates for teachers who are looking to develop the STEM curriculum in their school and build the knowledge and confidence to engage more pupils with STEM learning.
Attendees will receive free training on the Academy’s latest resource: Engineering in a Pandemic.
Teachers will receive a resource box containing teacher and student guides and distributable packs of equipment and materials to deliver these activities to pupils, whether they are in school or learning remotely.
Resource boxes will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.
Any STEM-related teacher from your school can attend to receive the training and resources.
Send a Message to Space on Astro Pi Mission Zero and CyberFirst Role Model Talk with West Country Computing Hub
This month, West Country Computing Hub will be looking to the skies when they share details of how students can send a message to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Astro Pi Mission Zero, led by Raspberry Pi is an exciting space challenge for students aged 14 years and under. Learners have the opportunity to write a simple programme to take a humidity reading onboard the International Space Station and communicate it to the astronauts with a personalised message to be displayed for 30 seconds!
Entries are open until Friday 19 March 2021.
Raspberry Pi are also offering the opportunity for schools to host a CyberFirst role model talk for students to find ways to address the gender disparity in Computing.
Part of the Department for Education's Gender Balance in Computing (GBIC) project, this new programme of research will be the largest national research effort to date to address gender balance in Computing.
More than 700 schools have already begun working with Raspberry Pi to explore the different approaches to finding out what works to encourage girls to develop an interest in Computing during their primary and secondary school years, and thereby increase the number who choose to study the subject at GCSE and A Level.
There are still places available to join the non-formal learning trial for Year 8 students starting in April.
The aim of the non-formal learning trial is to strengthen the links between non-formal learning and studying computing at GCSE or A Level. Girls are often unaware that their non-formal learning about Computing can help them in their formal studies.
Girls are also better represented in non-formal Computing clubs than in formal settings where Computing is taught, i.e. they are engaging with Computing beyond the classroom, but not in their formal studies.
In the non-formal learning trial, Raspberry Pi have created specific resources for schools running Code Clubs and Apps for Good programmes, which signpost the links between non-formal and formal learning of Computing, and how these can lead to future career/subject choices later in life.
Further to our RSHE Secondary progress report it is now pleasing to report that the RSHE Ready Primary programme has supported over 2,000 school staff from across the South West in preparation for the statutory changes in RSHE.
Overseen by TTSA Director & Strategic Partner of TSSW, Lisa Toms and delivered by TTSA SLE & RSHE Ready Delivery Lead, Kim Mason, the programme has also been supported by five Mentors from across the South West delivering to Subject Leaders, Senior Leaders and School Governors in the following areas:
All schools have had a Mentor who has supported them through the implementation process and have had cluster meetings to unpick the different aspects of RSHE to consider how these will look within a Primary classroom.
Schools have also benefitted from personalised meetings with their Mentor to build bespoke CPD support to each school.
In total, there have been 223 members of staff who have attended the CPD package from 123 schools in the South West. Every school that has participated in RSHE Ready and attended the live training has rated the CPD as being of a high quality.
Thank you to TTSA SLE & RSHE Ready Delivery Lead, Kim Mason and TTSA Director & Strategic Partner of TSSW, Lisa Toms for their report.
In this second issue, ESW Associate & Strategic Leader of Teaching & Research Schools (Education South West), Roger Pope CBE contemplates the DfE "hanging onto the tail of the Covid beast, struggling to respond to its latest twists and thrashings."
In this final week of January - with the usual and additional challenges of this winter month - as "the bulb shoots are thrusting up through my lawn" he urged partners to "look for the positives!" Indeed we do.
As well as some of the latest and forthcoming offers from our partner Teaching School Alliances, you can also read an update on our work with the Early Career Framework, and a year on, read the report on the RSHE Ready Secondary programme and more besides.
If you would like to be added to the mailing list, email TSSW Project Co-Ordinator, Jude Owens.
It’s now a year since TSSW’s successful bid to lead the Department for Education training to support schools in readiness for the new Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) 2020 guidance.
All State Secondary settings within our region could register to receive the following support package:
Despite the unforeseen Covid-19 lockdown situation and school closures, we have effectively and rapidly adapted our programme to be delivered remotely, using both video conferencing and webinars to support and train our partner schools.
We have now recruited and trained ten secondary school RSHE Ready mentors to work one-to-one with schools; which included specialist training by Brook and fortnightly training during last Summer Term.
We moved to remote training through webinar platforms and online meetings, with access to a dedicated website where all webinars can be accessed, along with training materials and in order to support sharing between partner schools we have developed a shared access drive.
The PSHE Subject Leads Network has been significantly expanded and developed to meet the training needs of the partner schools, including:
It is rewarding to report that meetings have been attended by over 60 schools and the forthcoming PSHE Network meeting on Wednesday 3 February 2021 will be cross-phase and focus on teaching about drugs and alcohol.
In the first two waves of the programme over 100 schools within our region have been supported with live webinars, access to recordings to all partner schools and up to half a day of dedicated support from an RSHE Ready Mentor, and this mentor support is on-going.
Next is the development of a Strategic PSHE Network in collaboration with Devon, Torbay and Plymouth Public Health, the University of Exeter, local 0-19 teams, Community Public Health Nursing, CAMHs, Mental Health Support Teams, Well-Being for Education Return and the Diocese Offices from across the South West.
100% of staff who responded to our post-training evaluation question rating the quality of the RSHE Ready training and support, rated us as High Quality.
We also gathered the following data on the efficacy of our training for our Wave 2 partner schools:
37% rated themselves as having some, little or no knowledge of the RSHE Guidance before they started, on completion of the programme, 96% of partner schools that responded to our post-evaluation survey, rated their knowledge as high or expert.
Before the programme confidence when we asked schools about delivering effective RSHE to meet the 2020 guidance:
3% of partner schools reported having some, little or no confidence.
After the programme of training and support 96% of staff from our partner schools rated themselves as having high levels of confidence.
Wave 3 is due to commence on Thursday 28 January 2021 and will run until the end of March.
It is open to all secondary schools who have not taken part yet.
Thank you to RSHE Ready (Secondary) Director, Lisa Whitworth for her report.
Early Career Framework - an update on our involvement this year and looking to the 2021/2022 programme
At the heart of the Department for Education’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy is the commitment to transform support for teachers at the start of their career.
TSSW are pleased to be working with national provider, Teach First to deliver this one-year version to 83 Early Career Teachers (ECT) and their mentors signed-up to the programme.
The Early Career Framework (ECF) offers professional development support for Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) in the first two years of their career. It underpins an entitlement to a fully funded, *two-year package of structured training and support for teachers, linked to the best available research evidence. The package of reforms, funded by the DfE will ensure that new teachers have dedicated time set aside to focus on their development.
*In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first year of the ECF programme was made available to more schools to support a larger number of Early Career Teachers who may have had a disruption to their initial teacher training.
Over the year, the ECT is involved in:
Mentors also attend a half-termly virtual CPD session where they have opportunity to meet other mentors and discuss aspects of the programme and their role. During the session they also receive further CPD on effective mentoring and core skills.
To support the implementation of the programme, and the development of the Early Career Teacher, a Teach First or TSSW Development Lead (DL) has been assigned to work with schools and groups of ECTs. All of our Development Leads are experienced practitioners and experts in training teachers and deliver both the Early Career Teachers virtual CPD sessions and mentor training.
The DLs are now working on Module 3 /6 with our ECTs and the programme has been well received so far.
The engagement shown by schools, ECTs and mentors has been very encouraging, despite the continuing challenging circumstances presented by the national lockdown.
National Roll-Out September 2021
As an organisation TSSW is proud to be in a position to support new teachers as they take their first steps in the profession and we are looking forward to playing a significant role in the national roll-out of the Early Career Framework (ECF) in September 2021.
Being involved in the one-year programme has proved to be invaluable and will place us in a strong position to approach next year's roll-out confidently for the following reasons:
TSSW will be running a number of early engagement events for schools at the end of the Spring Term/beginning of the Summer Term to prepare schools for the ECF roll-out.
We can advise on time commitments, the structure of the programme and share how schools have approached its implementation this year and also identify pitfalls and barriers to success and suggest ways that these can be avoided. The events will also give advice on choosing mentors to support the ECTs.
Following on from this in the Summer Term we will invite mentors to an early induction programme to prepare them for September and introduce schools to their Development Leads.
If you’d like to know more, please contact Assistant Director of TSSW, Sarah Frame.